News Lord Butler himself was asked to investigate two cases of potential ministerial misconduct

Britain’s most senior civil servants should no longer be asked to investigate accusations of ministerial misconduct because they do not have the “powers” to get to the truth, the former Cabinet Secretary, Lord Robin Butler, has suggested.

Leading article: With conflicts of interest, perception is all

The question is rightly being asked: if Baroness Warsi has been referred to the independent adviser on the Ministerial Code for what appears, on the face of it, to be a fairly minor infringement, why not Jeremy Hunt – either for maintaining too close ties with News Corp over its bid for BSkyB or for not keeping proper tabs on his special adviser?

Leading article: Why have Sir Alex Allan if we're not going to use him?

What is the point of having an independent adviser on the Ministerial Code if he or she is never consulted?

Liam Fox jet fighter error costs UK millions

David Cameron will rubber stamp an embarrassing U-turn over the Government's £5.2bn super aircraft carrier programme this week to avoid "a floating white elephant".

Steve Richards: Now we see this industry has oversold itself

Cabinet ministers are human beings. They know people. They have friends and former colleagues who are sometimes also friends. Some of their friends and former colleagues become lobbyists. Their closeness to ministers is the reason they secure lucrative jobs.

Philip Hensher: Werritty had a priceless commodity that others could mine– he had Access

Towards the end of a lifetime of networking, someone asked that glacial charlatan-genius Andy Warhol if there were anyone left he still had a desire to meet.

Liam Fox backs Nadine Dorries over plan to cut number of abortions

The Defence Minister, Liam Fox, has thrown his weight behind a bid to change the law on counselling for women considering a termination, saying yesterday he would support efforts to reduce the "far too high" number of abortions.

Gurkhas to get lower payoffs in Army cuts

One officer facing compulsory redundancy said: 'I have given my whole life to the Army. I feel helpless. There is no morale in the brigade, it is very, very bad'

14 new Chinook helicopters for the RAF

The Royal Air Force will receive 14 new Chinook helicopters in a £1 billion contract, the Ministry of Defence announced today.

Video: Fox: 'Debt is a strategic issue'

Defence Secretary Liam Fox says Britain will not be able to protect itself in the future if the budget deficit is not cleared now.

Armed forces will be unable to cope after budget cuts, say MPs

The MPs have rejected Mr Cameron's contention that the armed forces could cope with a 'full spectrum' of operations

Union attacks MoD civilian job cuts

Union leaders today attacked plans by the Ministry of Defence to cut a further 7,000 civilian posts as "shameful".

Leading article: Indefensible briefings

One of the most striking revelations in the records released earlier this week of meetings between Government ministers and News International executives was that the Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, apparently gave Rupert and James Murdoch confidential briefings on Afghanistan. In extracting information directly from the Defence Secretary, the Murdoch family appears to have taken its Fox News brand rather literally.

Defence Secretary wants reserve soldiers 'build-up'

Defence Secretary Liam Fox has pledged a "build-up" of reserve soldiers which could see a reduction in the size of the regular Army.

Liam Fox apologises over cleared pilots

Defence Secretary Liam Fox apologised today to the families of the pilots in the Mull of Kintyre helicopter crash after a new report cleared them of an earlier finding of negligence.

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The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

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charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
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Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
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voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee